With more than 40 rides and attractions to enjoy while you’re at Dollywood, it’s hard to know which will be the best fit for your family – especially if you have family members who are, shall we say, less than enthusiastic about thrill rides. In our family, we’re split right down the middle, half thrill-seekers, half ‘fraidy cats.
I’m one of the ‘fraidy cats. I’ll own it. And here’s why:
Dollywood is a treasure trove of rides and activities for those of us who like to hang on to the contents of our stomachs while we enjoy a theme park. Of course there’s nothing wrong with being the type of person who likes to wolf down a loaf of cinnamon bread from the Grist Mill and take their chances on Drop Line, but for those of us on the opposite end of the spewing spectrum, here are the Top 5 Least Scary Rides at Dollywood.
1. Dollywood Express
I love the Dollywood express for many reasons. Not only does it take you on a scenic tour of the beautiful Dollywood theme park and beyond, but it is literally serene enough for your kids (or you!) to take a 20-minute power nap. Sure, it’s possible to be startled awake by the 110-ton coal-fired engine’s whistle, but you’ll be so comfortable staring out across the foothills of the Smoky Mountains that you won’t mind a bit.
The open-air seating and slow-movement of the train is perfect for everyone from infants to grandparents and I highly recommend it as a way to chill out for a bit after lunch, before you take on an afternoon of adventure.
2. Rockin’ Roadway
I have been a fully licensed driver for going on 17 years now, but there is still something so fun about driving a car around a track. I know you know what I mean! And if you don’t, it’s time you checked out the Rockin’ Roadway. Located in the heart of Jukebox Junction, Rockin’ Roadway’s retro-filled amazingness will not only blow your hair back with its sleek 1950’s-style ‘Vettes and Cadillacs – it will literally blow your hair back as you cruise its leisurely course in convertible-top style.
Ladies, you may want to bring a headscarf to protect those locks! You don’t want to look like a square when you head over to Red’s Drive-In for a milkshake.
A quick word of warning: your children will want to ride this ride over and over again, but not to fear. I can tell you from experience that it’s just as fun the fourteenth time as it was the first!
3. Village Carousel
I’ll be the first to admit that riding a carousel checks all my theme park boxes:
Lively music: check!
Kid and parent-friendly: check!
Brimming with Nostalgia: check!
Sure the carousel may not be the most exciting ride at Dollywood, but if we’re all being honest with ourselves, there’s nothing sweeter in the whole entire universe than spotting your child’s smiling face, with hands waving wildly to you as they come around the corner again and again. Personally, even though I love waving at them from a bench in The Village, generally I am more interested in riding the Village Carousel with my kids. Why? Because if there is even the tiniest chance that I might get to ride on “Dolly,” the lead horse with the long, flowing mane of gold – I am NOT about to pass that up!
4. Whistle Punk Chaser
Or Thunderhead Junior, as our family refers to it, is an awesome junior coaster nestled right beside Thunderhead. With a name like Whistle Punk Chaser, I was concerned that my preschoolers would leave the ride feeling overwhelmed, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. This coaster has just the right amount of twists and turns for kids and adults who aren’t looking to get too wild and crazy.
It has definitely earned the right to be called a perfect “prequel” to riding some of the more thrilling rides at Dollywood.
5. The Rides in Country Fair
Country Fair was the first place we took our children when we first started coming to Dollywood and we continue to come back year after year because, it’s just that good.
With pint-sized rides like the Amazing Flying Elephants and Busy Bees, which are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, Country Fair is a great place to get your kids’ feet wet when it comes to theme park rides. But what I really love about Country Fair is that it has oodles of rides that are fun for the entire family – thrill-seekers or not. We are partial to The Scrambler and Shooting Star, both of which are exciting without tipping the scales into being “too much” for our more reserved family members (like me).
And if anyone does get a wild hair and feel like being a little spookier than usual – well, Country Fair has face paint for that.
Check out all that Dollywood has to offer when it comes to your friends and family members who aren’t thrill-seekers. From the Country Fair area to Rockin’ Roadway to musical performances and themed playgrounds, there is so much to see and do at Dollywood without being scared silly!